Cryptocurrency Highlights Of The Week

R3 announces distributed ledger platform Corda and the Lightning Network could be ready this summer. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 14:

  • R3 CEV and its member banks have announced a new distributed ledger platform for financial services called Corda. The platform “captures the benefits of blockchain systems, without the design choices that make blockchains inappropriate for many banking scenarios”. The platform should certainly be taken seriously, as Bitcoin Core Developer Peter Todd (who also worked on the project some time ago) called it “good tech” and added “blockchain should be very worried”. Exact details of the project are unknown since the code won’t be open source until it matures further, but Corda’s key features are listed as below:
    • Corda has no unnecessary global sharing of data: only those parties with a legitimate need to know can see the data within an agreement
    • Corda choreographs workflow between firms without a central controller
    • Corda achieves consensus between firms at the level of individual deals, not the level of the system
    • Corda’s design directly enables regulatory and supervisory observer nodes
    • Corda transactions are validated by parties to the transaction rather than a broader pool of unrelated validators
    • Corda supports a variety of consensus mechanisms
    • Corda records an explicit link between human-language legal prose documents and smart contract code
    • Corda is built on industry-standard tools
    • Corda has no native cryptocurrency

  • In the meanwhile, the big British bank Barclays has partnered with “Bitcoin bank” Circle. According to The New York Times, this is the “first time that a large global bank has agreed to work with a Bitcoin company”. Circle was able to do so after being granted an e-money licence by the Financial Conduct Authority. The license and partnership will allow Circle customers to instantly transfer money between dollars and British pounds. These transfers will also be free, and be as convenient as sending an email or text. Customer deposits will be held at Barclays and, while Circle uses Bitcoin to enable the transfers, the customers won’t have to hold Bitcoin themselves.

  • The much anticipated Lightning Network may be ready this summer according to co-creator Joseph Poon. In fact, the concept is already being tested on the test network for Segregated Witness (SegNet). Poon added that “a basic, functional version of Lightning Network should be ready when the Segregated Witness soft-fork goes live on Bitcoin, presuming it gets merged and activated this Summer.” Segregated Witness is a requirement for the Lightning Network, which is supposed to help fix Bitcoin’s limited transaction processing capabilities. With the Lightning Network “a single node on a reasonably fast internet connection will be able to process thousands of transactions per second.”

  • What do artificial intelligence and blockchain have in common? Apparently everything if it’s up to IBM. The technology giant is attempting to merge artificial intelligence (the company’s artificially intelligent computer called Watson) and blockchain technology in a Watson-powered blockchain. The project could help improving the security and problem solving for the Internet of Things. Tim Hahn, responsible for IBM’s Internet of Things, commented on the matter. “What we’re doing with blockchain and devices is enabling the information those devices supply to effect the blockchain. You begin to approach the kind of things we see in movies”.

  • After last week’s recovery, Ethereum collapsed this week with Ether taking a big hit to its value. The popular altcoin lost almost 16 percent, taking the exchange rate down to $9.70 per ETH. Bitcoin’s price remained boringly stable for yet another week, decreasing slightly to about $419 per BTC.

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